Better Cotton Initiative

Posted in Global, Responsibility, Sharing best practices/standards, Single crop.


General Information

Crop: Cotton

Geographic scope: Global

Active Countries: Brazil, India, Mali, Pakistan, China, Mozambique, Tajikistan, Turkey, Senegal, Kenya, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Malawi, Ghana, Ethiopia, Cote d’Ivoire, Cameron, Burkina Faso, Australia, USA (expected to expand to South Africa).

Initiated in 2005

Created as part of the WWF ‘round table’ discussion, the Better Cotton Initiative aims to make global cotton production better for those who produce it, environmentally friendly and a prosperous future for the sector. Moreover, brands, retailers and international donor organisations fund a combination of projects on a global scale.

Members: Private Sector (54 retailer and brands, 682 suppliers and manufactures, civil society members (28) and producer organisations (30)).



Poor environmental management, working conditions and unstable markets of cotton production.

The Better Cotton Initiative, started by a group of visionary organisations that came together to create practical solution to ensure a sustainable future of the cotton industry. This platform indulges in added value of the cooperation of multi-stakeholders.


Intentions and aspiration

Better Cotton will account for 30% of global cotton production by 2020.

The platform intends to help farmers grow cotton in a sustainable manner, as well as improving the livelihoods of farming communities. It does so by bringing together aspects of the cotton value chain in order to create a global community. The Better Cotton Initiative ensures Better Cotton is produced by farmers who:

  1. Minimise the harmful impact of crop protection practices,
  2. Use water efficiently,
  3. Care for the the soil,
  4. Conserve natural habitats,
  5. Care for and preserve the quality of the fiber, and
  6. Promote decent work.


Arrangements and capacitities

The platform is governed by a CEO, which supports a team of directors and consists of a General Assembly that entails all BCI members and elects a Council to represent it. The Secretariat’s main role is to act as a ‘guardian’ of the Standard and ensure that there is rightful implementation, credible data collection, quality training conduction, as well as other ‘enabling’ functions. The secretariat function is funded mainly through membership fees, grants from public funding sources and service fee charges from other areas.


Activities and outputs

The platform main activities allows for the connectedness of people across the cotton sector. Additionally, it provides research reports on evidence of the impact of BC, Annual and Harvest Reports, events and online/offline trainings as well as a set of member-only resources.



Monitoring and evaluation

To develop common solutions for M&E, BCI cooperates with Aid by Trade Foundation and CmiA.



Posted in Global, Responsibility, Sharing best practices/standards, Single crop.